UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology (PAD)

Course Code
Module Tutor
Professor Paul Dalby
Exam 70% 2h
Presentation 15% 1 hour
Coursework 15% 2000 words
Prerequisites None


The module aims to provide a chemistry and industrial biotechnology course specifically tailored for biochemical engineers. The module will introduce aspects of industrial biotechnology that do not exist in other modules, which are at the interface of biochemistry and chemical synthesis. Existing courses provide the chemistry content from across a range of modules, mixed with more advanced materials not relating to industrial biotechnology.

This is a key course which builds fundamentals to understand a major component of the discipline. Students will apply two core elements of the engineering benchmark statement (i.e. scientific principles and 'realisation') to the problems of industrial biotechnology. The student outcome as measured by coursework and written exam is to provide confidence in the ability to understand and appraise the relationships between protein and enzyme chemistry and industrial biotechnology bioprocess development design/operation from a theoretical and practical viewpoint.

Learning Hours


Lectures 30h
Private reading 50h
Seminars/ problem classes / tutorials 10h
Independent project work 10h
Required written work (e.g. essays/reports) 10h
Revision 40h
E-learning/tutor led contact 8h
E-learning student led contact 30h


Students will acquire: 

  • A knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry underpinning enzyme mechanisms
  • and protein chemical modifications.
  • A knowledge and understanding of physical chemistry underpinning kinetic and
  • equilibrium analysis of industrial biotechnology processes.
  • A knowledge and understanding of protein structure, stability and ligand affinity
  • mechanisms, and thermodynamics.
  • A knowledge and understanding of protein aggregation mechanisms and formulation
  • chemistries.
  • A knowledge and understanding of techniques for chemically modifying proteins, and also
  • for protein engineering in an industrial biotechnology context.